It’s been a huge month for Digital Wine Ventures, which has partnered with Australia Post to launch a same-day wine delivery service called WINEDEPOT and also established a major wine storage and distribution centre in South Australia.
WINEDEPOT will cater to producers, distributors, importers and retailers of all sizes across the country, allowing them to significantly reduce delivery times, freight costs and breakages.
The venture is promising same-day delivery from 2500 Australian wineries.
Australia Post will provide warehouses, staffing, backend IT systems and infrastructure, reducing the cost for Digital Wine Ventures.
The warehousing, ordering, processing and delivery system will flow directly into Australia Post’s fulfillment channels and allow same-day delivery, avoiding the need for collection, transfer and sortation, and opening up multiple revenue opportunities.
Digital Wine Ventures CEO Dean Taylor said: “With the arrival of Amazon, every Australian consumer will soon expect fast and free delivery. Any business not offering the same will simply lose market share. WINEDEPOT will provide the wine industry the infrastructure to allow that calibre of service level to be provided viably.”
Paul Hersbach, head of growth products at Australia Post, said: “Our partnership with WINEDEPOT provides the wine industry with a specialised distribution service that will not only save money but also improve the consumer delivery experience,” he said.
“We believe that it will help many wine businesses increase their online sales as they place their inventory closer to end consumers and offer same day evening delivery as a standard service.”
Digital Wine Ventures hopes learnings from the partnership will help it expand into other countries in the next 12 months, with New Zealand, China, Singapore, the UK and the US identified as potential target markets.
New South Australian wine hub
Digital Wine Ventures has also announced an AI-powered partnership with Wine Storage and Logistics, a privately-owned Australian company that provides specialised logistics services to the wine and beverage industry.
WSL has agreed to establish and operate a dedicated central storage and distribution facility for WINEDEPOT, which will serve as the main distribution centre for supplier’s inventory used to support an expanding network of local wine depots.
“Each depot in our network holds a very broad range of inventory, but only in limited quantities,” said Taylor.
“To maintain sufficient stock cover, the depots will need to be replenished on a regular basis using AI and other predictive software. To support this model we needed a flexible and dynamic operator who was prepared to embrace and invest in new technology.
“What clinched the deal for us was finding out that they could also support our international expansion plans, offering export labelling, container packing, air freight and marine shipping services.”
The partnership with WINEDEPOT will see WSL open a new 22,000 square metre climate-controlled facility in Adelaide.
Taylor said the facility is the perfect location for WINEDEPOT’s first bulk storage facility given that South Australia is currently where almost 50% of the nation’s wine is produced.
The journey from Wine Ark to Digital Wine Ventures
Taylor was the founder of Wine Ark and Cracka Wines.
Cracka Wines is part of The Online Liquor Group, which also owns My Wine Guy and Winegrowers Direct, and merged in 2017 with Tws Wholesale, owners of The Wine Society.
Taylor sold WINEDEPOT to Dawine late last year and was appointed as its CEO.
“The idea for WINEDEPOT was born from the inefficiencies I witnessed in the wine supply chain after having launched 7 different wine businesses,” Taylor told Lifehacker.
“The wine supply chain here in Australia is fragmented and failing to meet modern consumers expectations who demand: faster and cheaper delivery, more choice and the ability to buy by the bottle. In emerging markets like China it is even more fragmented.”
The Australian start-up aims to take advantage of the burgeoning appetite for premium wine in China.
“The online and direct-to-consumer segment is the fastest growing part of the market,” Taylor told WBM.
“It’s time the industry harnessed the full potential of technology to eliminate all the double, triple and sometimes quadruple handling that goes on behind the scenes to get a single order delivered.”
Dawine purchased Wine Depot to drive its wine sales strategy in China. The integrated trading and logistics platform allows sellers to source inventory from multiple suppliers and deliver their products directly to the consumer.
The company has had a presence in Shanghai for almost three years and, similar to Wine Depot’s plans for Australia, it is looking to expand the network into other major Chinese cities as the demand grows.
The Dawine board also decided to rebrand the company’s name to Digital Wine Ventures Limited.